Misadventures Of An Average Mom

Because Average is the New Awesome!

Last days in San Diego

Wednesday morning Paco took a late day for work so we could all go to the beach as a family one last time before we headed back to Iowa. The kids love the beach but Edison was kind of back and forth on the whole thing that morning. He wanted to go out in the water but didn’t want to go out too far once you were there. He ran to play with the sand toys but then expected me to do all the digging. He did this the whole time we were there. Even still, the kids enjoyed it a lot and were really happy to have daddy there for a beach trip on a nice day! Speaking of, we got one of the last 3 spots in the lot at 9am. There are a lot of spaces to park there too… It got really crowded by the time we had to leave to grab lunch and get Paco to work.

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Wednesday night we had our very last stop at the Pacific Beach Fish Shop. We had my brother in law, Sean, and his wife meet us to eat with us since we wouldn’t really get to see them again before we had to leave. The Fish shop was, not surprisingly, AMAZING. After we finished we went down the street towards Mission Blvd and tried a fun dessert/ ice cream place called The Baked Bear. It is such a great idea for an ice cream shop! They have a ton of fresh baked cookies in varying flavors. You pick two (or two different) cookies and then pick an ice cream and they make a delicious custom made ice cream sandwich. We each got one and were on our way to enjoying them. really… very much WERE on our way. That is until Edison realized he didnt just have a couple of cookies. No, they were RUINED with ice cream. I should note that he was probably getting tired because we were out until no earlier than 9:30 both Monday and Tuesday and here it was already after 8. That and he just really likes cookies. Sean was nice enough to take him for a walk to chill out since he had already finished his treat. Lilly had about a third of hers and decided she was done so Paco an I hurried along and took the kids’ with us to go. (Not the best idea unless you get the styrofoam to-go containers. I may or may not have ended up with a good amount of ice cream drippage on my hands on the way home.

Thursday, our last real day, in San Diego. It was really strange that this popped up so quickly. The past 6 weeks went so quickly. One of the things I had wanted to do all along is meet up with some amazing ladies that I actually met online in a facebook craft lovers group! We are all over the country and the fact that 3 of them live in San Diego meant I absolutely had to meet them. We had a great time meeting at a park and letting the kids all play while we got to interact IN PERSON! I am so thankful that I have people around the US that I can meet without having any qualms whatsoever and then chat as though we have known each other our whole lives.

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When the kids and I got back from our park date we had to make a trip to the pool one last time. Both of the kids loved it and we had a nice combo of the big pool and the hot tub. Edison loves the hot tub. I am torn because it wasn’t too hot that he couldn’t manage it for short times but I still don’t want to promote him being in hot tubs at such a young age. He also just walked around the outside seat without really being submerged so that makes it a little better also. He wasn’t very happy about leaving but we had to go pick Paco up from work so the two of us could have a date night. A REAL date night. Sean came over even though he has been absolutely exhausted from work. We are so thankful and happy he was able to do that for us. We were on our way without any real plan but ended up on Habor St. downtown. We went to The Fish Market and got to enjoy a seat close to the window. We weren’t right next to the window on the patio, but we could still at least see water and the harbor as opposed to being somewhere in the middle of the restaurant. I got the fresh halibut ‘caught by patty joe!’ and Paco got his [very] blackened swordfish.

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After eating we went to the infamous Extraordinary Desserts. Given where we already were and ease of traffic we went to the Little Italy location. It was beautiful. There were a lot of different dessert choices and each one looked like a little piece of art. After looking over the options we made our choices and decided to get them to-go since we didn’t want to wait and we wanted to grab a picture of the San Diego skyline at night before heading over for a late night walk on the beach. It was fun to have the time to just be with Paco since the last time that happened was before he left in May. I have been around the kids 24/7 without ANY break at all for 3 months. I love my kids, but to get to have a night out with just my husband.

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When we got back to the apartment we had our desserts and did a bunch of packing before calling it quits and left the rest to morning. I am interested to see how long it takes before I start to miss California because as much as I hate to admit it, it was a pretty fun place to visit. I still don’t know if I could manage that lifestyle forever.

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The start of our last week in San Diego!

This week went by incredibly fast. We managed to get a lot of stuff done during the week, but I just haven’t had a chance to do any updates because each night has ended so late for us.

Over last weekend when we got back from Tucson we ventured out to downtown. We wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market one last time but decided to do the Mercato Market in Little Italy instead of the smaller one in Poway. It wasn’t bad and get got what we wanted but we definitely prefer the market in Poway.

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Since we were downtown and had an hour and a half or so left on the parking meter we walked the 1.2 miles to the convention center to watch all the great people of Comic-Con International. That’s right… we were in downtown San Diego the weekend of Conic-Con. It was fantastic. I badly want to get tickets to go sometime. It was incredibly crowded so I wasn’t able to get as many great pictures of the people that were dressed up as I would have liked but I still got a few people in some outfits.

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Sunday we went to the Horton Plaza mall because I read it has very interesting architecture and would be a fun place to see. It was okay. I wouldn’t necessarily make a special trip to go but if you are in the area and want to get some decent parking validated for 3 hours go to the mall and walk around. They have big chess boards on one of the levels so Paco had fun playing that with the kids. After the mall we headed home and just had a relaxing remainder of the afternoon.

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Monday was our trip to Balboa park since we got free passes to the Science museum and Natural History Museum. I looked at the passes again before we left and realized that the science museum passes aren’t good until August 11. Major bummer. We still had the natural history museum so off we went t find it. Parking confused me so we ended up parking a bit away but were able to see more of the park including the botanical gardens/ reflecting pool. It was a beautiful park. I wish I could say the Natural history museum was amazing and inspiring or even mildly informative but it definitely fell flat. I would go as far to say if I had paid for the two kids and myself I would have been demanding my money back. As it was I am kind of annoyed I had to pay $17 for myself. We could have paid another $17 each and gotten into a special pirates exhibit they had but I just don’t see how that would have been worth it.

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Monday night we had a hard time figuring out what we were going to eat because Paco had originally tried to kind of (not really) plan a date night for the two of us. Since he got a little too late of a start planning it we ended up having to find somewhere for all four of us to eat and landed on a Chinese place in Poway called Chopsticks Chinese Cooking. It was fantastic. It was by no means fancy but it had such a great family run business going and the food was some of the tastiest Chinese I have ever had. After dinner we HAD to go to DAISO Japan. A Japanese dollar store? YES! We are suckers for places like this and spent way too much time there and may or may not have bought a ton of useful fantastic things. I just love the personification that they put on all of their products and the really awful translating products into English. Amazing.

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Tuesday we had our last day at the zoo and paid for the bus tour passes. It was a nice way to end our sumer zoo adventure. It was unfortunate we didn’t have more tim to stay because the “baby” Pandas 2nd birthday was on Tuesday. I don’t think they did anything special because they had a party on the 23rd when we were in Arizona, but it was still fun to be there on the Pandas birthday anyway! Tuesday night we headed downtown because also included in the kids library passes were vouchers for tickets to a Padres baseball game! One of Paco’s co-workers and his wife wanted to join us so they came along and sat in our section even though they had free vouchers for a considerably better section. The nice thing about ours is that they included 50% any other tickets purchased in the same area so they only had to pay $20 for their two tickets. Six total tickets for $20, not bad! The kids had a great time at the game. They made new friends, got to ride the trolley downtown, and watched a game! They also bounced around a lot but luckily the seats directly around us were empty so they were kind of able to. Since we were getting on the trolley right next to the Gaslamp Quarter sign I decided I had to have pictures of it! We had eaten in the Gaslamp Quarters Saturday and for lunch on Sunday but weren’t around this main sign.

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I figure this is as good a place as any to stop since this post has gotten insanely long. I didn’t want to do a daily update a week late because then I will NEVER catch up to the actual day. SO, tomorrow I will try to post about the last few days we had in San Diego and how this weekend has been being HOME!

 

 

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Tucson. No Thank You.

I haven’t even bothered to post because I feel like we finally had a bit of a down week. Imagine that, not running around ALL day every day! Tucson was… well, it was hot. This made it very difficult to actually do anything or make any plans to do anything. Mostly because there is, apparently, nothing to do in Tucson in the middle of summer because everyone pretty much resolves to sit inside in any air conditioning they can find.

Monday we dropped Paco off with a co-worker so they could drive in to work and then found the nearest Target so we could stock up on some essentials so we wouldn’t necessarily have to buy all our meals from places. This only kind of worked… We ended up eating lunch at the hotel/ resort and spent a TON of money on just a sandwich and a kids meal pizza. I think we just chilled in the room then and went ahead and just ate leftovers for dinner (I had a few french fries and a slice of Lilly’s pizza). yum. Paco got back around 9:30 that night.

Tuesday we got up when Paco did and drove to Scottsdale to visit our good friends from Lilly’s playground years ago. We met these fine folks when the kids were 1 year old and they have remained friends since even though they moved 3 years ago. The drive went surprisingly smoothly with the kids and even though it was 2 hours it went by seemingly fast. That was a definite bonus. When we arrived the kids all started paying immediately so I got to have some actual real MOM time and just talk for a bit. We finally realized around 1:30 that we should probably have some lunch and headed out (in the CRAZY heat) to find something fun. The original plan, Peter Piper Pizza, was closed for renovation so we went to AZ Airtime so the kids could get pizza AND burn off some energy by jumping on trampolines. Edison LOVED it. They just opened one similar to this back home but given the fact it took prying Edison away kicking and screaming I don’t know if we will visit any time soon. I need to get a handle on that kids emotions/ control. We went for some Baskin Robbins to cool off since it was a good 120 degrees in the car (and about 110 or so outside) and then headed back to the house so the kids could play again before leaving. We didnt take off until 7:30 but this was good so traffic was cleared and it had cooled down just a bit so the car wasnt straining. Paco didnt get back from work until after 10.

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Wednesday we went to the pool with friends because it has not only a pool but a splash pad and a lazy river. Yes, a lazy river at the hotel. It was fantastic. It would have been better if Edison tolerated it a little better. Luckily he really enjoyed the splash pad and pool. He is getting pretty comfortable in the water. I only hope it holds out for when we go to the lake! We ate lunch poolside by, once again, paying the crazy food prices. It was easier though than getting dressed and loading in the car to find some place. It wasnt until the next morning that I realized Edison had taken one of his blankies to the pool area and that he also left it there. Paco didn’t get back until 11:45.

Thursday we didn’t have much else to do but NEEDED to do something so we went to the Tucson Children’s Museum. It was okay but the one near our home is way better. They offered quite a few of the same things but back home it is just a little more… grandiose? Hard to describe. Anyway, the kids still had a great time and it was a needed energy burner. I couldn’t get Lilly to leave the art area so I managed to coax Edison in the 4 and under section that was attached so I could easily keep an eye on both. He loved climbing on all the things so it worked out. After 2 hours I decided we needed to get going and find lunch. Edison did not agree. Once again, I had to carry the kid kicking and screaming out. I would love for THAT behavior to stop. The problem with finding food in Tucson is that everything is special to Tucson apparently because every name in the GPS was foreign. Foreign isnt bad, but I had no idea what they were actually offering for food genre and I really didnt know what part of town it was or if it had easy parking or quickness. Ultimately we went to eegees. The sandwiches are average but it is cool you can get subs at a drive through. The eegees drinks were pretty good though, especially on the 107 degree day! After lunch and after a bit we went down to the pool and lazy river. Edison was a lot more willing to just lounge and do the lazy river than he was the other day and it was decently relaxing! Paco didn’t get home until 11. Oh, this was the same night that Lilly notice her teeth were loose. I checked and they aren’t really that loose but they have a friend joining them! I shrieked when I saw the permanent tooth growing behind her baby teeth. Unfortunately dentist says the baby teeth need to come out when we get back to Iowa.

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Thankfully Friday we got to head back to San Diego. Not until we stopped at the PIMA air and space museum though! This was one of those things that Paco really wanted to do because it was a museum of planes. Outside… nothing but hundreds of planes and other air vehicles. Paco was excited to show them to us and explain things about them. Unfortunately Lilly was happy to just complain about the heat. It is an outdoor museum. In the Desert. On a 108+ degree day. We managed to get through a lot of it but Paco decided it wasn’t worth it to go to the back half. We really were all getting pretty hot and none of us had near the amount of water we should have for the day. We started home.

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It was pretty fun to get to see a desert thunderstorm on the way back and I am just completely ticked for some reason that we could see the border to Mexico. We also got to see sand dunes. So fun! These were the interesting things to look at. Other than that the car ride was unbearable because the poor car just couldn’t really cool down because how can it compete with a consistent 113 degree temp?!?! It wasn’t until we hit the mountains that it started to cool slightly, but then we had to turn the air off because.. mountains… we went UP the mountains which causes a strain on the engine. They actually have big barrels of water for radiators along the side of the road the whole way up!

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All in all I am glad we went to Tucson because we got to see friends. Even though we didn’t really get to see Paco because he was working ALL the time at least we were there to keep him company in the car and whatnot and I now know that I will NEVER live in Arizona. It is gravel and cactus needles. No offense to those that choose it but NOPE!

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Sea World and such

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post for a brief message from our sponsors… TUCSON SUCKS!

I’m sorry for anyone from the southwest that actually enjoys breathing fire air but NOPE! I just cannot handle it. Part of the problem is clearly that we are in a place I have never been and is completely foreign, but also it is just SO… you know.. DESERT. Okay, more on that later….

Sea World on Friday was fun but also kind of a disappointment. When Paco and I went to Sea World in Florida for our honeymoon (9 years ag0) I remember it being a lot more…. well… more. I feel like Sea World here was more focused on rides than it was the animals. This is both good and bad because I do have some borderline mixed feelings about the whole large animals in captivity thing. I mean if we are rescuing them, yay! If we are capturing them for entertainment, boo. I don’t know which one it is so I will remain mostly neutral. I digress…. it just seemed like they didn’t have as many exhibits to look at. The penguins were definitely smaller scale and didn’t have a lot of ‘oooh and aahhh’ factor. The Shamu show was mostly them splashing water on people. Again, I understand there have been a lot of accidents as of late so for the trainers sake it just isn’t smart to do big fancy shows, but it was still a bit of a bummer.

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All in all the day was still a success. The kids had fun. Tempers only flared a few times because it was hot and they were tired but we were there all day. We did the all day dining passes. I still haven’t decided if this was a good thing. It cost us $80 total for food for the 4 of us for the whole day because we got the wrist bands that allowed us to eat unlimited amounts at select restaurants. The problem is the lines. They were all excruciatingly long and we couldn’t bypass any line if we just wanted a water or something. DUMB! My recommendation would definitely be to have separate lines for people with the wrist bands. We got to see Elmo and Grover which was cool and kind of a weird surprise. I hadn’t done a ton of research into sea world before we went so I didn’t know they had a Sesame Street section. This was also a bummer by the way. Sesame street… let’s think about this. It peaks in popularly with say, 5 year olds? The minimum height requirements for any of their rides was 42″. Lilly BARELY makes this cutoff by being 44″ tall. And most of the rides were 48″ requirements. SO dumb. Again, not the reason or going so we will stick to the positives and just say they enjoyed the shows and the animals and ta da, day was a success.

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Saturday we went to the USS Midway museum. Paco was our own personal tour guide since he spent the 6 days on the Tiger Cruise aircraft carrier with his brother last winter. It was pretty cool to get a glimpse of what my brother-in-law had to live with for 9 months while he was deployed. I could NEVER be on a boat with tiny hallways and no windows for more than a few hours, let alone months. It makes you appreciate our military and all they do.

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Sunday I had the brilliant idea to go to the Del Mar horsetrack family fun day. Free Webkinz horse, games, horse rides… sounds like a blast, right? Oh my gosh BUSY. Busy and confusing. Nothing was labeled or advertised well so it took us longer to get there than we figured. Then parking was insane. Then we had to walk FOREVER to get to the place. Then once inside there was an hour long wait for a pony ride and the games werent going to start until after the second race because, oh yes, there were tons of races actually going on also. That was cool just because we had never been to a horse race before. We got to be in the infield for it too so I was maybe 50 feet away from the horses when the did a race. The kids were kind of bummed for the whole thing but still took it in stride and at least enjoyed the race and their new horse. (BUT  the stupid housekeeping people here in Tucson threw the tags away- good thing they were free).

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I feel very negative today with this post. Last weekend was fun. We are still enjoying ourselves and trying to fit in as much awesome and different stuff as we can while we are away but it is starting to wear on me. Two kids in an unfamiliar place where they get me more of the time than usual is just getting to be a lot to handle. I look forward to being home and getting settled before school starts.

 

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Playing catch up!

I swear I am absolutely never going to catch up on posts. So I suppose I will try (ha!) to do some kind of abbreviated one. No super huge details, just recaps…

So, the Thursday before Disneyland we all went to the Safari Park which was the last post. That same weekend we came back from Disneyland then we checked a few other things off my ‘must see’ list. Originally we were going to go to LA and see Hollywood Blvd. but traffic proved that would just be stupid. As it was it took us 3 hours to get home when it is a 1.5 hour drive normally. ick.

First we went to Point Loma to see the old lighthouse and a fun view of the bay. That was pretty cool and the kids really enjoyed walking around. Well, Lilly enjoyed it. I didn’t trust that Edison wouldn’t fall off a cliff into the ocean so I carried him on my back in the toddler Kinderpack we borrowed from a friend here. After Point Loma we went to Coronado beach since we were already in that area. We wanted to walk around and see the Coronado hotel, which is one of those really pretty sights apparently. It was so fun because as it was a Saturday we saw no less than 3 beach weddings! We had to stop and wait on the sidewalk for the processional of one to go on. Lilly LOVED that.

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During the week we made our typical trip to the zoo but I didn’t bother taking the camera this time. We met friends at the beach one of the days and just tried to have a low key day one of those.. but still went to the pool, obviously. Oh yes, we also had another ‘kicking and screaming’ exit from the library so I am happy that since we leave on Aug. 1 and we DID bring books from home, we are don’t with the library trips. Edison is just too active to sit still in a library. Yet, he loves for me to read to him over and over AND OVER again.

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Thursday we picked Paco up from work a little bit early and met a friend I met online but had not yet met in person because she lives here AND takes photos! Now, funny story… we have one professional family photo and it was taken when Lilly was one year old. That is right, NONE with Edison. I decided that a beach/ ocean setting would be an awesome backdrop and my friend is super talented so it was all the perfect scenario. We took those at La Jolla Cove which just happened to be another one of my checklist items since they have the sea lions that beach there. The kids loved looking at them so close in the wild but getting to them was a trick. Lilly started walking towards one part of the rocks and I about had a panic attack because I looked down and there was a crack in them that she easily could have slipped through and been lost to oblivion. I decided we had enough sea lions and left to safer ground.

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We finished our pictures and then rushed back over to La Jolla shores so I could get some pictures of the pier since that was something I desperately wanted to do. I had to literally race against the sun to get the pictures because it was setting and the pier was REALLY far away. SO worth it! I got a great workout AND I love the pictures I got. I will probably get one enlarged and framed. That is if I ever pick a theme for my home decor and follow through…

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Friday we went to Sea World, Saturday we went to the USS Midway and Sunday we went to the Del Mar Horsetrack Family Fun Day then drove out to Tucson for the week (we’re still here) because Paco had to travel for work. I will do a separate post on all of those sometime soon.

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San Diego Safari Park

After taking a week to post about Disneyland I need at least a day to sit and remember what all I did this week! I am so exhausted from the past month I can’t even begin to process it let alone explain it. I also need to get a ton of pictures off my memory cards from the week. I usually take quite a few pictures but this whole San Diego trip has probably led me to set a new record!

Before I started my Disney posts I mentioned that as a family we went over to the zoo safari park since it is included in the zoo membership passes. Well, walking around on your own is included. If we wanted to do the really cool ride on the tram or the bus or whatever that goes right up next to the animals in the safari is a huge amount of money. The safari was okay. It wasn’t quite as impressive as I thought it would be. It was laid out kind of weirdly so walking from one set of animals to the next got us all turned around. It was also pretty hot when we went so Lilly was getting tired pretty easily. All in all we decided that one day was enough for the Safari park.

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We did get to see the tigers which was pretty cool. They have 4 of them right now because there are two cubs. They were mostly uncooperative but there was one that sat nicely for me to get some good shots. In another area one of the tigers was posing perfectly down by the glass. There was a line so I jinxed Lilly and I by saying that the second we got up next to the tiger it would run away. Sure enough we got to the point where there was one person in front of us, we were next, and the tiger go up and left. Honestly, so annoying.

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That was kind of about it. I really do think the zoo is better and more worthwhile to visit. Maybe if we had a ton of extra money laying around we could do all of the extra rides to really get the best tour, but I’m not willing to pay it right now so I guess that is where we sit!

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I will update on all the rest of the things we did this last week, once I remember, some other time since I have so much catching up to do! It shouldn’t be as long a post or anything because we did a lot of the same stuff that we have already done so it is kind of same old same old but still a ton of fun!

 

 

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DISNEYLAND: part 5- The Happiest Place on Earth!

Honestly, I have to apologize to anyone who actually takes the time to read this. I have done most of these Disney posts way too late at night after exhausting days so I fear their quality has deteriorated a bit. It’s also already been a solid week since we went so now my thoughts are getting foggy on every little detail that happened. This is exactly why I need to write things down!

After a busy day and trying to meet characters and princesses while still managing to ride at least a few of the attractions we decided it was time to just plop down in a good spot while a decent one was still to be had and watch the fireworks. With the exception of a couple of trees we had a really great spot just outside and to the right of the castle (if looking at it). My poor Edison. He managed to stay awake the ENTIRE day… that is until about 3 minutes before the fireworks started. The kid passed out and managed to sleep through the entire show. He was wiped out. Hopefully I can take that as a sign that he thoroughly enjoyed his day.

The show started and Lilly was so thrilled. I was watching half through a camera lens, but I have gotten pretty used to doing this in my life anyway so I don’t really feel I missed out on anything. Besides, Paco was using the video camera so we can go relive the whole thing anytime we want! I love fireworks so much and always have. I forgot how great the Disney fireworks show is. I actually got a little choked up at a coupe of parts. I think some of that comes from watching it through my child’s eyes as she was in such awe and I will admit it hit a little close when they started playing Dumbo’s “Baby Mine” and then had him fly across the sky because that is one of the two songs I used to sing to my kids when they were babies and I was rocking them to sleep at night both in the NICU and continued at home. When it was over the ladies in front of me said that I just should have seen the expressions Lilly was making throughout the whole show because she was so taken by them.

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We packed up and headed for the gate but got stuck on the way out by one of the balloon vendors. Lilly had wanted one at the beginning of the fireworks show but the cart moved away and I wasn’t going to track it down. Besides that thing would have been impossible during the fireworks. It was kind of impossible anyway! My goodness… First of all, it was a $14 balloon and we got two! Second, it is HUGE. I don’t exactly have a big dog, but she isn’t tiny either and these balloons are easily bigger than my dog. You get your money’s worth. Oh, and they also have LED light wands inside. So, at the very least, once they deflate we have some cool LED thing. yay!

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Disneyland for us was absolutely fantastic. The kids still talk about it so I know it was a good choice. My two regrets are the fact that the Peter Pan ride always had such a long wait we never did get a chance to ride that. It is one of my very favorite rides and I think the kids would have loved it. The second is that we didn’t get a chance to ride the monorail. I never looked closely enough to see where it went or stopped and we just ran out of time by the time we could maybe hop on. If those are my only regrets, I can live with it and say we had a happy time. The kids both got to meet their Disney favorites in a way that suited them and made it really special. We got to go on some rides, but didn’t have to worry about rushing around to get to one or wait absolutely forever just for rides. Some would say they are borderline too young to go because they wont remember it. I used to have that mentality as well but now I know that sometimes things are impressionable enough they might surprise you and it is worth it regardless. If now is the time that everything is magical and you can capture even a thread of that on film or camera it is just so worth it.

We were lucky and had a great day with very minimal fussing or tantrums and got a lot accomplished to make it feel “worth while”. It really was the happiest place on earth!

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DISNEYLAND: part 4- the princesses and the park

Jumping right in here.. After our little princess was ready to go we went outside to the Fantasy Fare to meet whatever princesses we could find! There was a line right outside and we thought it was the official ‘meet the princesses’ line. Nope! It was kind of a bonus princess meeting place. We were waiting in line for Belle but after a minute the princess assistant came through the line and said there would be a princess change in another 4 minutes. Cool beans. It was almost too bad because we were next in line when they changed out… behind one other girl. So that girl kind of essentially got to meet both, but didnt get to get a picture with Belle. I thought that was a bummer. I mean, she was there! Anyway the princess that took over was Merida so Lilly was BEYOND excited. She lit up! She had nothing but huge grins and hugs for Merida and even made a point to tell her that she was a big fan.

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After a good visit with Merida we got in the pretty short line for the princesses in the meet the princess line. We got to meet Cinderella, Ariel, and Snow White. I will admit they do a fantastic job of hiring the ladies to fill these shoes. They stay in character so well that Ariel was all excited and asking a bunch of questions and poor Snow White had the really REALLY high pitched voice just like in the movie. I could not do that all day. Lilly was so happy to meet them.

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One of the things that was really magical about Disney is that everyone treated Lilly and Edison in such a special way. Not that they need that to boost their little ego’s but it was fun to add to the experience. For example, Lilly was in her dress and all done up from the boutique and everyone just went ahead and referred to her as Elsa. They had a lot of fun with it too. She got asked if she had her powers under control (ummm.. didn’t she at the end of the movie?). The guys opening the door to the princesses had her touch his hand so of course he froze since she was Elsa without her gloves on. Another person asked something dealing with the weather to which we were able to proudly reply that YES actually our winter was pretty rough and FROZEN with the sub zero temps.

Okay, I’m rambling. Anyway… after princesses we made our way to Frontierland/ New Orleans Square so we could do the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and I could do the Haunted Mansion. Pirates of the Caribbean had about a 20 minute wait sign but I doubt if it actually took that long. I have not been on that ride for a very long time so I forgot what it was like to be honest. I remembered the drop though so I made sure to tell Paco to really hold on tight to Lilly. She hated it. Most of it. She wanted to get off the boat. Edison was hanging in there but made sure I had my arm wrapped around him and my finger to hold onto. It wasn’t until the lightning storm and skeletons that Edison started trembling and looking nervous. Once we got in a little further and the pirates were waving to him he started waving back to them. He even admitted that he liked it. Lilly still talks about the fact that she hates it. I had a wonderful time in the Haunted Mansion. I thought about having Lilly go, but after pirates I knew that was out. Then I went in and within the first couple of minutes when the skeleton is hanging from the ceiling I knew for sure that was out. It is one of my favorites though so I had to make sure I went ahead. Plus, the line had absolutely no wait whatsoever!

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Right after I got off that ride we hopped in line to meet Princess Tiana because she just happened to show up right directly behind where Paco and the kids were waiting for me just before I came out the door! Score for meeting another princess out and about! For the longest time Lilly has wanted an umbrella. She has asked for one almost everyday because they have them at the zoo. She asked for one back at around Mother’s Day at home. So FINALLY we went ahead and got the kid a parasol in New Orleans Square because they had a street vendor person decorating them. It is a beautiful little parasol and has Lilly’s name and some hearts and flowers drawn on it. I like it way better than any cheap umbrella we could grab at the zoo!

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We knew we needed to plan our day around getting in line for Elsa and Anna (which at one point when we checked was a 3 hour wait). We decided to run over to get lunch in TomorrowLand but on the way stopped at the Dumbo ride. Because it’s the Dumb ride, duh! The only bummer is that this time the line must have seemed like it took longer because even though it was still only a 20 minute wait, Edison was NOT having it. Really, it was the only ride he was questionable in for behavior so I will take that as a huge win! “lunch” at 3:30pm wasn’t too bad but it was still crazy overpriced. At least it was filling. At this point we had to hurry back to Fantasy Land to get in line for Elsa and Anna. I wish we could have done more in Tomorrow land, but meeting the people and just experiencing Disney was the main fare on the kids agenda so as long as they were happy we were good to go.

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Luckily the line was down to about an hour and 40 minute way! No joke. And we definitely waited in it! We were fortunate enough to be in line behind some really fun folks who had a little girl celebrating her 3rd birthday. The wonderful thing about Lilly is that she is friend to all. She quickly attached herself to this girl and they had a great time interacting in the line. I don’t know the kids usual temperament but I would imagine the parents were happy for her to be so distracted/ entertained while they waited. They must have liked us well enough because they were sweet enough to give us one of their juice boxes! Paco and Edison wandered around the park, went on the carousel a couple ore times and just hung out. Edison was really good the whole time for that and I think Paco probably enjoyed the opportunity to sit.

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Elsa and Anna were perfect. If you are going to wait forever then at least you leave knowing you got a really great visit. I mean visit! There was nothing about it that made you feel rushed or like you had to keep moving so the next people could hurry in and get their pictures. Of course, if it was a little more like that then the line wouldnt be as long. Still, once again, the look on Lilly’s face was absolutely priceless and the girls stayed in character so perfectly. They pointed out that Lilly had a color of hair (teal) so Anna said a troll must have kissed her and Elsa said that she pulled the northern lights down from the sky and put them in her hair. Just so much fun! I don’t think it will be something Lilly soon forgets which makes me so happy. The things we do for our kids… waiting in line for almost to hours to get a picture and an autograph :)

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After Elsa and Anna we walked over to Critter Corner in the hopes of meeting Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore but they had apparently already packed up for the night and weren’t standing out anymore. Lilly was sad, Edison would have loved it, but that is the price you pay I guess. We also could have met Rapunzel and Flynn Rider if we hadn’t waited in the line!

By this time it was edging on 7pm so we knew we wanted to hit up a couple last major things before we went and parked it to find a good spot for fireworks. It’s a Small World is clearly one of those “must do Disney rides”. The wait was short, the kids were good, and It’s a Small World was wonderful. The kids both loved it. You could tell Edison was just taking it ALL in. I had the song stuck in my head for the better part of the evening (and now thanks to this it is stuck in my head again…). We also stopped at Pixie Hollow even though Tinker Bell was prepping for her fireworks show spotlight but they had fun on the huge mushrooms and flowers. With an hour and a half to wait still for fireworks Lilly and I went to a few of the main street shops and then Paco went and got some ice cream for all of us.

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Tomorrow is my LAST Disney post. Who would have thought you could fill 5 days of blog posts on ONE day at Disney. Imagine if I ever go to Disney World O_o  Hope you have enjoyed it regardless even if it has gotten a little long winded and mundane :)

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DISNEYLAND: part 3- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!

Lilly is 6.5 years old going on 15. It is because of this that I wanted to really do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique because she still enjoys the whole princess thing a lot right now. When we got back to the park from breakfast we had around 2.5 hours to burn because I wanted to leave enough time to not only get to the appointment but also to change into the Elsa dress I made for her. I spent plenty of money on the fabric for that dress (not to mention the blood sweat and tears!) but I wasn’t about to pay $65 for one of their dresses.

When we first got to Toon Town they had lots of cute card you could sit in so we did that and then Goofy was right across the street at his house so we went to get his autograph and picture. This was the only photopass person that could have had a little more experience with the while idea of taking pictures. Edison’s head just barely makes it in the photo. At least he looks pleasant I guess. The kids decided that even though they had just met Mickey and Minnie they wanted to see their houses. First we went on the Gadget Go Coaster because both of the kids met the height requirement (35″). I turned around at one point and saw that Edison was all laughs and loving the little roller coaster. Lilly had a great time too. Then we got off the ride. Lilly started crying because she bumped her head during one of the jerkier parts and either Edison pushed into the safety bar or he was unprepared to process the stomach tickling sensation because he just started clenching his stomach and crying. It was pretty clear that at 10:30am roller coasters were out for the day.

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Mickey and Minnie’s house were fun enough. We though it was odd that Mickey had such a shorter wait than Minnie… until we got to finally meet Minnie. My goodness she was taking forever with some kids. I honestly don’t mind a lot, but as a parent you should reel your kid in and realize there are plenty of other children waiting that want to meet the mouse!  I did get a SUPER cute picture of Edison giving Minnie a kiss, so at least there is that. Edison perked up a bit, he had been crying and whining about his stomach since getting off of the coaster, and was happy to run around the rest of toon town looking at the fun quirky fixtures.

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At noon it was finally time to get Lilly all done up. We changed in the bathroom after a little frustration. She didn’t want to wear the dress. WHAT!!?!?!? Honestly, I drafted the darn thing from scratch because at the time there was no pattern available for it! I convinced her this was the option and she grudgingly accepted her fate. It didn’t take too long to get over it once she was called up by her fairy God Mother- in training to choose her hair style.

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I just cannot say enough praises about the whole experience. Not only did they treat Lilly like she was the only princess in that busy tiny little boutique, but as her family we were her royal court and therefore treated with the same care and attention. We had our own bench to sit and wait and when someone else sat on it since I was standing to take a picture Lilly’s Fairy God Mother quickly told him he was not to sit there as it was for Lilly’s court. They were also amazing with Edison. They distracted him by playing and reading stories to him and just not minding when he was antsy and not sitting still. SO happy.

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Included in her princess package (the cheapest- Coach- package for $55) was: choice of hair style, tiara, princess sash, princess cinch sack, makeup (she got to keep the little pallet used), face gem (she got to keep the sheet that had the other 6 gem designs), pink rhinestone Mickey hair clip, and the combs used to do her hair. Also, don’t forget, the royal treatment. It was AMAZING. I couldn’t be happier with that choice and Lilly was able to get 3 days out of that hairstyle because of how much hairspray was used! Oh yes, and I did have to utilize a lot of restraint from buying the green ball gown Anna wears in Frozen. I love that dress!

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Okay, Disney is probably getting boring at this point but only two more posts on it, I promise!  Next up The Princesses and the Park. Then fireworks and our Disney Wrap up! Thanks for bearing with me through all my wordy over-excited Disney posts!

 

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DISNEYLAND: part 2- Character Breakfast at the PCH Grill

As I said in yesterday’s post we made a reservation for a character dining breakfast. When looking at google maps I got a little concerned about the location of the hotel compared to the parking lot and the entrance to the park. I didn’t want to waste time by not going in the park, but it wouldn’t have made much sense to go in for 5 minutes just to turn around and leave for breakfast. Luckily once we got there it was proved that appearances can be deceiving and everything was a lot closer than it looks on a map. Im very bad at judging distances on maps or.. you know.. reading them in general apparently.

We got our stamps so we could re-enter the park easily and it was really funny because the lady doing the stamps started telling Lilly how she would probably recognize the stamp easily. I was kind of confused, as was Lilly, but she got the glow light out and shower Lilly what her hand looked like under it. The stamp said Lillian. Now, being the dumb gullible (and still fully believing in magic) person that I am wondered HOW they could possibly have done such an amazing trick. Yes. Well.. the trick is that Walt Disney’s wife’s name was Lillian. It was still fun for Lilly even if it was soul crushing for me that such magical wonders didn’t exist.

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I think we got to our 9:10 reservation at least 10 minutes early but that didn’t seem to be a problem because they called us to be seated within about 1 minute of checking in. They told us that first we would wrap around the wall to the right to say a special good morning to a very special friend and familiar face… MICKEY the mouse himself! Now, I wish I had been in front of Edison or more prepared or had the video camera running. Edison’s face was the most priceless thing I have ever seen and hope I don’t soon forget that joy he so clearly expressed. He actually stopped in his tracks and had to process who he was seeing. Then he got the absolute BIGGEST grin on his face and quickly ran up to give him a hug while saying “Mickey!!!”. Tear. He made a point to show Mickey his little Mickey and then I didn’t pay enough attention to remove it while taking a picture. sheesh. It’s okay because it is still cute and we got some good pictures despite having most of them with Mickey on Mickey’s nose.

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After we left Mickey we saw Stitch on the way to our table. Edison and Lilly both really are pro’s at this whole “big potentially scary person thing 4 times their size” walking around. They had big grins and lots of hugs for all of the characters. By the time we sat down I wondered if we were going to get to eat our breakfast because there were just so many favorites walking around distracting us. It was a good kind of distraction though. Drink orders got taken and Paco went to grab a plate for himself and Edison. More friends were in the area so Lilly and I made sure they weren’t going to try to stop by while we were at the buffet before heading up to get our food.

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The options were acceptable. A little better than your average breakfast buffet, but the quality was nothing super exceptional. I’m fairly certain I have had just as good of a breakfast pizza at our local casey’s gas station. (this is no disrespect.. seriously, they have good pizza…). There were omelets made to order, eggs, Mickey shaped waffles, much more hot stuff and all the cold fixin’s you could imagine too! We did have to ask for one thing to make Edison happy. Peanut Butter. The kid lives for it and as much as I try to limit it, he just can’t get enough. So we asked for peanut utter so he could put it on his pancakes. He doesn’t really like syrup. He ate that for a while then just dug straight in to the peanut butter bowl. Eh, it’s protein right?

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Honestly we decided to take our time and enjoy the breakfast. We knew it was going to be a long day in the park and with Minnie, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Stitch, and Mickey walking around who would want to up and leave anyway!

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We finished up out plates and made sure we got to see everyone the restaurant had to offer and decided that before the kids got restless we should go ahead and make our way back to the park. That is, after the bill: $96.85. The sad thing is that doesn’t even include Edison. He was free after all for being “2”. It is a lot. Really… a lot. But we got a lot of extra time with Mickey in a much more casual atmosphere. The other characters sought us out instead of us having to wait in hot lines for a quick photo op. All in all I would pay it again in a heartbeat. Maybe next time we go to a Disney resort we can do the princess lunch instead :) OR princess lunch and character dinner. A girl can dream.

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So I mentioned that this was Edison’s super special thing for the day. Tomorrow I will post about our time in Toon Town and then Lilly’s very special thing for the day: The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!

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